Pour It On wins stakes at 36-1

Richetta spins her wheels, finishes 6th

`Boy' grabs juvenile colts' counterpart

Horse Racing

January 01, 2004|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

White Mountain Boy poured it on down the stretch to win the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Championship Stakes yesterday at Laurel Park, and two races later Pour It On powered through on the rail to capture the $100,000 Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship Stakes.

Pour It On's surprising victory at 36-1 odds resulted in an astronomical show payoff of $99.20. The runner-up, Sea of Promises, paid $30 to show and third-place finisher Grant's Moon returned $38.

The large payoffs occurred because Richetta, the 2-5 favorite, finished sixth. Of the $55,593 bet into the show pool, $51,733 came in for Richetta. That included $25,000 wagered at an off-track site in Chicago.

Had Richetta finished in the money, she would have paid $2.10 to show for a $2 wager. That $25,000 bet - the equivalent of 12,500 $2 wagers - would have generated $26,250.

Bettors who wager large amounts to show on overwhelming favorites are called "bridge jumpers." That's because if they risk $25,000 to win $1,250 and lose, then they feel like jumping off a bridge.

After winning four of five races and establishing herself as the top 2-year-old filly bred in Maryland, Richetta turned in a disappointing performance. Robin Graham, her trainer, said after the race that Richetta was fine.

Richetta broke sharply from the outside post in the seven-horse field and settled into third down the backstretch. She accelerated approaching the far turn and briefly poked her head in front. But instead of forging into the lead under her jockey, Rick Wilson, she stalled.

"I think she just got to the point where she said, `If you want me back here so badly, then I'll just stay here,' " Graham said. "She should have been right there at the end."

When Richetta wasn't, bettors wondered who was. The filly hugging the rail and gaining with every stride was the overlooked Pour It On. She surged past the front-runner, Sea of Promises, in the final strides to win by a half length.

The daughter of Cryptoclearance and the Cojak mare Quality Control completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 53.17 seconds and paid $74.20 to win. She headed a $581.60 exacta and $3,406.60 trifecta.

Hamilton Smith, trainer of Pour It On, said he told her jockey, Eric Rodriguez, to let the filly relax early and make one late run. Rodriguez followed instructions, and Pour It On, last until the final turn, responded with her second win in five races.

"She's a game little filly," said Smith, who has saddled the winner of this race three of the last five years. "She always tries and runs hard."

Pour It On is a third-generation filly from the broodmare band at Hickory Plains Farm in Frederick.

Two races before the filly stakes, White Mountain Boy dominated a field of six 2-year-old Maryland-bred colts and geldings. The son of Meadowlake and the Cormorant mare La Sarto remained undefeated after three races. He paid $4.60 to win after completing the 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute, 51.49 seconds.

Phil Schoenthal, his trainer, said a recent change in diet had cleared up a liver problem in the colt.

"I think he'll compete on a national level next year," said Schoenthal, 26, who trains for the country's leading owner, Michael Gill. "I told the owner about a month and a half ago that I think we have a Triple Crown candidate on our hands."

The victory for Gill, who lives in New Hampshire, was his seventh stakes win of the year in Maryland. That tied him for most stakes victories with Sondra Bender. Gill dominated the owner standings for the second straight year with 145 wins in Maryland. He has 330 horses in training.

Dale Capuano won Laurel's final race of the year with Xcape for his 100th victory of 2003. He has led Maryland trainers in wins six of the past seven years. Tony Dutrow claimed the trainer's title for win percentage for the fourth time in five years. He saddled 50 winners from 168 starters for a 29.8 percent win clip.

Ramon Dominguez, the nation's winningest jockey, claimed the title in Maryland for most wins (185) and win percentage (25.6 percent).

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